Anyone interested in learning how to play the guitar, has to start with the most basic and simple chords meant for beginners. These chords form the basis for all further lessons and instructions, and once you have learned these, learning advanced chords becomes easier.
You first need to familiarize yourself with the basic anatomy of an acoustic guitar. There is a fixed pattern for denoting each acoustic guitar chord on paper, and you must learn how to read these charts first.
There are 6 strings on an acoustic guitar, each numbered from 1 to 6. The bottom-most string is the first string and the top-most one is the sixth one. On each string there are various frets, and when you push your finger against any fret on any string, it produces a different note and a different sound.
When you pluck on a string without pushing your finger against any of the notes, it is known as an open note. The default open note for the first string is the E note, the B note for the second string, the G note for the third string, the D note for the fourth string, the A note for the fifth string, and lastly, the E note again for the sixth string.
This forms the basis of any form of guitar lesson. You also need to understand the concept of a half-jump and a full-jump. There are 7 musical notes in total (A, B, C, D, E, F, and G). A full-jump means that on one particular string, you push your fingers against alternate frets in order to play the next note.
A half-jump signifies that the very next fret plays the next note. The half-jumps occur only between the B note and the C note, and the E note and the F note. When you play the open note on the first string, it is the E note.
Now to get to the F note, you need to play the string with the first fret pushed in (since there is a half-jump between the E note and the F note). To play the G note, you need to push in the third fret on the string (since this is a full-jump).
Thus, the A note will be on the fifth fret, the B note on the seventh fret, the C note on the eighth fret (half-jump), the D note on the tenth fret, and the E note again, on the twelfth fret.
Now, there are hundreds of different guitar chords that you can play, and all of these together comprise the acoustic guitar chords chart for beginners. There are a few chords though that are the most elemental, and form the basis of all other chords.
A chord is nothing but a combination of various notes, so in order to play a chord, you will be playing a combination of different notes on different strings at the same time. Over time and with practice, you will be able to memorize these chords. Here are the most common guitar chords that are a part of almost every guitar song that you have heard.
- The C Chord: Position your index finger on the first fret of the second string and simultaneously, position your middle finger on the second fret of the fourth string. Also, at this time, your ring finger should push in the third fret of the fifth string.
- The D Chord: Your index finger will push the second fret of the third string while your middle finger will lay on the second fret of the first string. Your ring finger on the third fret of the second string will complete this chord.
- The D minor Chord: While you keep your index finger on the first fret of the first string, your ring finger will be on the third fret of the second string. At the same time your middle finger must be on the second fret of the third string.
- The E Chord: Your index finger lies on the first fret of the third string, your middle finger is placed on the second fret of the fifth string, and your ring finger pushes in the second fret of the fourth string.
- The E minor Chord: This chord requires only two fingers and these are your middle finger on the second fret of the fifth string and your ring finger on the second fret of the fourth string.
- The A Chord: Your middle finger, ring finger, and little finger will lie on the second fret of the fourth string, the third string, and the second string respectively.
- The A minor Chord: Your index finger on the first fret of the second string. This is the only difference from the A chord. since your middle finger will be on the second fret of the fourth string and your ring finger will be on the second fret of the third string.
- The G Chord: Your little finger lies on the third fret of the first string, while your index finger lies on the second fret of the fifth string and your middle finger pushes in the third fret of the sixth string.
- The F Chord: This is a slightly different and difficult chord to play. Your index finger has to be on the first fret of the first string and the second string at the same time. Your middle finger lies on the second fret of the third string and your ring finger on the third fret of the fourth string.
You need to practice these basic chords a lot, and start playing them along with songs in order to pick them up well. Some finger exercises will also help you master these chords better, before you move on to more advanced chords.